Aug 2012 060

 My dad had two daughters; one was a rough and tumble tomboy, and one was a girly girl.  While my  sister played outside in the dirt, I was in the kitchen baking. We were so different, and I was constantly  compared to the polar opposite that was my older sibling. We could never agree on anything, but this never stopped my dad from taking us to watch sporting events. It was at one of these events, where I  was first introduced to roller derby.

In a flurry of fishnets, rainbow suspenders, tattoos and pigtails, a few of the newly founded “Rat City Roller Girls” skated up to my father and me at a Tacoma Sabercats game. They handed me a sticker and a flyer, and skated off to another unsuspecting couple who had come to attend the hockey game that night. During halftime, they quickly demonstrated how the game worked with a game of sock derby, knocking into each other, a jammer flying through the pack and throwing her arms up to indicate that
she had made it through. I remember thinking about how badass they were. In a moment of sheer teenage angst, I remember wishing that I could be that cool.

Years later, I was forwarded an email from my husband’s Army chain of command. There was a group of women at Fort Lewis that were starting a roller derby league. “Babe, can you believe that they’re trying to get a group of army wives together to play roller derby on post? Can you imagine the wives in our unit getting together to knock the snot out of each other on roller skates?” Without looking at me, he raised his eyebrows and responded, “I don’t know, I think that sounds cool. You should do it. I’d buy
you a pair of skates.” I shrugged my shoulders and sat there quietly, the wheels slowly turning in my head. All I could think of was those badass Rat City Roller Girls. Could I be that tough? I was Daddy’s little girl.

When I woke up the next day, I made my decision. I didn’t even wait for my husband to buy my skates.  It’s been almost two years now, and I never looked back. I’m stronger than I have ever been, but just as girly. Sometimes I even bake in my roller skates.

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